What made Azerbaijan confident it could freely initiate the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without the intervention of Russia?

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The Politicus
Jun 04, 2021 08:23 PM 0 Answers
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On 27 September 2020, conflict reignited over the semi-autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh. It is stated that this most recent fighting was instigated by Azerbaijan (Source).

Furthermore, Armenia is most definitely protected by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the foremost power of which is Russia, which maintains a strong military. While Azerbaijan originally was also part of this organization, it left in 1999.

As it turns out, Putin ruled that the conflict did not trigger a obligation of defence, as the fighting was technically taking place outside of Armenia, despite the direct engagement of Armenian forces. However, this does not seems like a forgone conclusion. Putin could have imaginably sided quite differently, leaving Azerbaijan to face the wrath of Russia.

Is there anything to clarify this seemingly risky maneuver?

One possibility is that Azerbaijan simply was willing to face the consequences, even Russia did intervene.

Another possibility is that Azerbaijan was confident it could prosecute the conflict because of Turkey's support for their cause.

One final possibility is that Azerbaijan received some sort of tacit indication from Putin that Russia would not intervene ahead of time, leaving them free to move.

It is worth noting that these can all be combined, they that were willing to begin with, emboldened by Turkey's aid, and received some indication that Russia would not intervene. But perhaps someone has better sources indicating these speculations?

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  • June 4, 2021